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Third generation joins Duncombe Sawmill, near Helmsley
A THIRD generation is now represented at a family-run sawmill business.
Angela Storey, 30, has begun a new chapter in the story of her family’s involvement with Duncombe Sawmill, a thriving former estate business in Helmsley, which was saved from closure almost a decade ago.
Forensic science graduate Angela, from Kirkbymoorside, has swapped a career as a civilian worker with the police to join her father, Chris, at the sawmill, where she is now office administrator and in charge of customer service.
Manager Chris was just 15 when he started as a trainee forester with the sawmill’s former owner, Duncombe Park. Apart from a stint spent training as a mechanic, he has worked in forestry ever since.
His late father John worked at the sawmill from 1970 until his retirement in 1986. He spent most of his working life in timber, working out of the woods and driving a tractor for Duncombe.
“I was told that you might as well resign yourself to the fact you’ve got a disease, and it’s in your blood,” said Chris. “It’s a way of life, it’s not just a means of earning a living.”
The latest Storey to join the business said she remembered revising for her GCSEs sat in a tractor cab with her father. She used to help out at the sawmill in her school holidays.
“I love working for a smaller, local business where it is relaxed and friendly and you can just get on with your job,” she said. “It’s nice to see people who are so happy with our products, and that makes us proud.”
Chris said: “We are like any people – we have our differences, but we do get on well. Her customer care and customer liaison are second to none.”
Together with her partner Darren Collier, a Porsche mechanic, Angela is expecting her first child – due in March.
Sawmill owner Emma Woods, who took on the sawmill almost ten years ago, said: “It has been great to welcome Angela on board. She is a pleasure to work with and has rapidly become a key member of the team.”
As well as achieving steady growth at the sawmill since its salvation, Mrs Woods and her team overcame a major setback in the wake of June 2005’s serious flooding, which ruined stock and equipment at the Sawmill Lane site.